The Bulletin: The season of the witch [Issue #46]

The Bulletin is a collection of what's happened, what’s happening, and what’s to come in and around Montreal.

The Main

The Main

October 12, 2023- Read time: 9 min
The Bulletin: The season of the witch [Issue #46]A quiet moment on the plaza surrounding Place Ville Marie. | Photograph: @ericbranover

We ain't talking about Halloween—yet.

When Donovan wrote Season of the Witch in 1966, the year before the infamous Summer of Love, it alluded to the delusion, paranoia, maybe some schizophrenia, and other psychological demons that haunted his psyche. It can be said that, at the time, the youth culture of his time was not as copacetic as it may have appeared to him.

We want good vibes right now, but it's been a tense week in our streets and feeds: Only six days in to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, and its shockwaves—and the shockwaves from decades of grief and loss—are hitting Montreal hard.

As much as we want to take these weekly newsletters to celebrate the city in all its forms, we won't deny what's happening right now and how it impacts our local communities. It leaves us at a loss for words, but we found some sage ones from Toula Drimonis in her weekly editorial column for Cult MTL this week:

"Both Israelis and Palestinians deserve peace and a life free of fear. The price paid for these conflicts is always pain. And it’s routinely paid by those least to blame. Let this tragedy be a catalyst for real efforts to end this violence, not an instigator for more of the same."

We hope you are yours are safe at this time, and that those pained find solace soon. Reach out to loved ones and friends if you're in need, and love while you can.

שהשלום יבוא במהרה / عسى أن يأتي السلام قريباً

Read on to see what‘s happening in Montreal this weekend.

Activities, parties, points of interest, art exhibitions, you name it: These are the weekend events you don't want to miss.


  • L'OFF JAZZ, a forum and platform for showcasing the Quebec and Canadian jazz scene in its most organic expression, is running until Oct 14.
  • Are You Willing to Die for the Cause? is Drawn & Quarterly founder Chris Oliveros' deep dive into the rise of the Front de libération du Québec (FLQ) militant group in Quebec, and he'll be in conversation with Arizona O'Neill at La Petite Librairie D+Q this weekend.
  • Don't forget: The 2023 edition of Festival du nouveau cinéma, the 52nd edition in the event's history, is going strong until October 15.
  • Watch 'n' snack: Parc La Fontaine's Robin Des Bois is hosting a projection of the film C.R.A.Z.Y. Jean-Marc Vallée.


  • The first art-publishing event in Montreal, Volume MTL's major annual gathering along the lines of the pioneering New York Art Book Fair is taking place this weekend.
  • Local performer and organizer Scarlett James invites one and all to the prestigious Montreal Burlesque Festival: 2 nights of exceptional Burlesque & Cabaret events.
  • Check out Medieval Music Days, featuring the music of Guillaume de Machaut (1300-1377), and his influence during the 14th and 15th centuries, a time when the Black Death of the 1340’s divided the century in two.
  • Among other events all weekend, Montreal's new-ish sound bar Vino Disco is hosting the launch party of The Director by local artist Moses Belanger.


  • The concerts, shows, installations and poetic, rebellious and unprecedented events of Festival Phenomena are on right now until Oct 21.
  • DevFest's global, decentralized tech conference hosted by the Google Developer Groups (GDG) community is taking place all day at McGill's L.M. Trottier Building.
  • The Segal Centre for Performing Arts is putting on Mizushōbai (The Water Trade), exploring the life of Kiyoko Tanaka-Goto, a Japanese picture-bride turned ‘underground’ businesswoman in 1930’s British Columbia.
  • Go check out Sex, Desire and Data at the Phi Centre, an immersive exhibition that explores the connections between sexuality and technology.


  • It's the last weekend to visit the Expo World Press Photo Montréal's 2023 World Press Photo Contest, an annual exhibition showcasing the best and most important photojournalism and documentary photography of the past year.
  • See the MAC's exhibition of Anna Binta Diallo’s mural Fluid fossils before it's over: Created specifically for its public space, it's composed of a series of silhouetted figures whose surfaces are a collage of patterns drawn from nature – fossils, stones, plant life, shells, water, clouds, snow, ice.

RIP to the SAT's Foodlab, which will be closing after 12 years of operation this month. | Photograph: Instagram / @foodlab_laboculinaire


Scope the latest restaurant openings, recommendations on where to eat, plus new menus, old classics, and everything in between.

Here, you'll find a weekly round-up of the latest local news, from entertainment to current affairs and more.

Space influenced by how Montrealers live

For Guillaume Ménard and David Dworkind and their Montreal studio MRDK, they're making the city's streets come alive through design. Their approach has produced a body of interior and architectural work featuring some of the city’s most stunning and memorable restaurants, bars, and cafés. (The Main)

Design according to life in Montreal: The work of MRDK
For Guillaume Ménard and David Dworkind and their Montreal studio MRDK, they’re making the city’s streets come alive through design.

"It is time for people to wake up"

On Sunday, Israel declared war on Hamas after the surprise attack launched the day before by the Palestinian Islamist movement from Gaza, and that's spurred Palestinian Montrealers to take to the streets in the last few days. (Le Devoir)

Une manifestation à Montréal en soutien au peuple palestinien
Un groupe de protestataires ont scandé «Libérez la Palestine», près de la station de métro Guy-Concordia.

Solidarity and prayer

Hundreds of Jewish Montrealers, many carrying Israeli flags, gathered at Westmount Square to remember those killed in Israel. Seven local rabbis led them in prayer and song. Local politicians are denouncing the pro-Palestinian rallies. (Montreal Gazette)

War in Israel: Montreal Jewish community reeling as scrutiny of pro-Palestinian rallies intensifies
“It shocked me this weekend to see, in Montreal and certain other areas, the demonstrations to try to justify what is unjustifiable,” Premier François Legault said of pro-Palestinian rallies.

Celebrating the heights of a career

To mark the 100th birthday of Françoise Sullivan, and essential figure in Quebec visual art, MU has produced the tallest mural in Montreal ever: Nearly 21,000 square feet (300 feet high by 64 feet wide) downtown, on the wall of the Hyatt Hotel at the corner Sainte-Catherine & Saint-Hubert. (CBC Montreal)

Honouring 100-year-old artist, Montreal unveils newest, tallest mural
As part of a partnership between Françoise Sullivan, a 100-year-old painter and sculptor, MU, a public arts organization, the city of Montreal and the Université du Québec à Montréal, the city’s tallest mural was unveiled this week.

The Hunger Games, but for festivals

Many festivals and fairs in the city are finding it harder and harder to find funding. Between public sources, corporate sponsors, and ticket sales, concession, and elsewhere, the conventional formula has become difficult to maintain. (CTV News)

Montreal festivals fighting for funding... and their lives
Montreal festival and fair organizers are sounding the alarm as public funding has become harder to get. Some say the system has to change or the city may have to say goodbye to events that have been around for decades.

Big industry, small footprint

Tech is a big reason why you could safely hit a golf ball in many of the city's downtown offices these days. And fewer workers in downtown offices means fewer customers for cafes, restaurants and stores. Here's why. (The Logic)

Is tech responsible for downtown Montreal’s woes? - The Logic
The city has the country’s highest concentration of tech workers, and its core is hollowing out. Landlords and brokers are worried

Just barely a B+

We've not exactly sure what metric the mayor is using, but our mayor says that while Montreal's "road network isn’t perfect... we are working very hard to improve it. Since we took office, the overall condition of Montreal roads has improved thanks to significant investments." (Cult MTL)

75% of Montreal roads in good condition compared with 46% in 2015
Mayor Valérie Plante has provided statistics about the state of Montreal roads over the past 12 years, noting a major improvement since 2015.

Make the moist of it

After flooding following recent heavy downpours, the City of Montreal has announced plans to transform certain roads into 'sponge streets', an environmental initiative to allow water to penetrate the ground. (La Presse)

Photograph: City of Montreal

An unsung hero

Brian Merrett, whose photographs informed and inspired a citywide movement to save Montreal’s heritage buildings during the 1970s demolition derby and beyond, has died. A member of the founding board of Heritage Montreal, Merrett continued to advocate for the preservation of historic architecture until a few weeks ago. (Montreal Gazette)

Obituary: Photographer Brian Merrett, quiet saviour of Montreal heritage, was an unsung hero
His photos — and the architectural subjects he showcased — are celebrated, but the man was not. And he was fine with that.

Truffes d'ici

Truffles are found in almost every forest in the world. In Quebec, they were discovered for the first time in the 1980s. Since then, the craze has grown to the point where we have even started to cultivate it. To date, around fifteen species have been identified in the province. (Le Devoir)

Des truffes typiquement québécoises
Plusieurs espèces indigènes de truffes, dont certaines étaient complètement inconnues, ont récemment été identifiées.

And that wraps yet another weekly bulletin. We’ll be back with more curiosities, local stories, and events to discover next week.

If ever you catch something we should know, don't hesitate to reach out to us on Instagram.